Renovations at The Palace Hotel will create apartments for foster kids entering adult life
2010-01-28 · By Editor
Long Beach City Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell, 4th District, The Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC), LINC Housing Corporation, and United Friends of the Children (UFC) will host a Community Preview at The Palace Hotel this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to view renderings of the renovation project as well as talk with representatives from LINC Housing, UFC, LBHDC and the City of Long Beach.
The Palace Hotel, built in 1929 at 2640 E. Anaheim St., will soon begin renovation and construction to become home to 13 youths transitioning from foster care.
In Long Beach, there are more than 1,000 children in foster care. According to UFC, without assistance, many of these young people will become homeless and chronically unemployed within two to four years of leaving the foster care system.
“This project is the result of a PBS show I saw 15 years ago which told the story of how foster youth were unceremoniously cut free from services at the age of 18,” said Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell. “I promised myself that if I was ever in a position to help address that problem, I would act. I am looking forward to sharing the plans for this facility with our community.”
Made possible through a loan from the LBHDC, LINC Housing’s renovation of the site and the implementation of UFC’s groundbreaking Pathways to Independence program, former foster youth will have the opportunity to access the critical education, employment and life skills needed to become successfully independent—all while living in their own apartments.
In addition to the 13 studio apartments, the property will also include a manager’s unit, common areas, offices to help provide services to the residents, as well as retail space on the first floor that may help employ some of the residents. Several technologies will improve the sustainability of the building including a photovoltaic array and fuel cells that use natural gas to create electricity and in the conversion process generate heat that will be used to generate domestic hot water.
Residents at The Palace will be required to work and pay rent, in addition to attending weekly life-skills classes and regular meetings with their advocacy counselors.
Construction is due to begin in the spring. A portion of funding for The Palace Hotel comes from the low-income housing tax credit program included in The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and allocated to projects by the State of California. Additional support for The Palace Hotel comes from the LBHDC, The Federal Home Loan Bank, US Bank, Preservation Partners, The Ahmanson Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, and the National Trust Loan Fund through dollars from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
About The Long Beach Housing Development Company
The Long Beach Housing Development Company was established by the City of Long Beach in 1989 to assist in the creation and development of affordable housing. The LBHDC’s mission is to provide safe and livable neighborhoods in Long Beach by promoting, developing, and preserving decent, safe and affordable housing for the very low-, low- and moderate-income residents of Long Beach. The LBHDC offers a range of low cost financing, subsidies and other forms of financial assistance to encourage the development of affordable housing that improves the quality of life of the residents it serves.
About LINC Housing Corporation
Headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., LINC Housing Corporation is one of California’s most productive nonprofit developers of affordable housing for seniors, families and special needs populations. Named as one of the Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers in the nation by Affordable Housing Finance magazine, LINC has helped create more than 6,000 homes in 53 communities throughout California. The organization’s properties are known for excellent design, outstanding management and life-enhancing services for its residents. LINC has 25 years of service to families, seniors, and local governments helping to create sustainable communities via new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation, and historic preservation.
United Friends of the Children (UFC) provides quality housing and a broad range of supportive services in a program model that demands increasing levels of personal responsibility and initiative, helping foster youth to avoid homelessness upon their emancipation from care. UFC’s Education Programs follow foster youth from middle through high school graduation, preparing them to become competitive applicants to four-year universities. Upon entering college UFC provides foster youth with financial support and guidance, helping them to earn bachelor’s degrees at a rate much higher than the general population. UFC serves 1,400 LA County foster youth annually and receives 80% of its funding through private donations from individuals, foundations and corporations.